Thursday, October 21, 2010

Terrorist groups update (October 22, 2010)

1) Niranjan Hojai chargesheet by the NIA Linky

DHD-J commander-in-chief Niranjan Hojai wore a Rolex worth Rs 1 lakh, never mind the fact that the people he “fights for” make do with less than Rs 15,000 a year. One lakh rupees, in fact, is the per capita income of seven persons in the district. The luxury watch is just one of the exorbitant items that tumbled out of the militant leaders’ vanity kits when the National Investigation Agency (NIA) began probing a case of defalcation of funds in North Cachar Hills (now Dima Hasao).

The seizure list attached to the NIA chargesheet, which was submitted to the special judge of the agency last Tuesday, revealed shocking details about the extravagant lifestyle of these militant leaders, who waged a war against the state for “the people of the district”. While Hojai sported a Rolex wristwatch, policemen seized gold chains and rings from other accused persons. The list also contains sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and electronic gadgets. While the gadgets seized include high-end laptops from Sony, Lenovo, Compaq and N82 and E90 handsets of Nokia, the vehicles are mostly Scorpio and Bolero.

The extravagance makes for an ugly contrast to the condition of the district, considered one of the most backward in the state, with a population of 1,86,189 (according to the 2001 census). The district lacks even basic civic amenities like schools, hospitals and roads. While there are only 676 lower primary schools and 175 Middle English schools to cater to more than 55,000 children below 14 years of age, the number of arts and science colleges in the district is an abysmal four.

More: Linky

he NIA chargesheet, in connection with the defalcation of funds available with the North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council, has revealed that the accused created false and fabricated documents to transfer huge sums of money. The funds were channelised through hawala operators in Guwahati and Calcutta. The chargesheet, which yesterday named 16 people, including DHD (J) top brass Jewel Gorlosa and Niranjan Hojai, was filed based on case no. 02/09 of NIA which was registered on June 5, 2009.

Meanwhile, SATP reports:

The legal cell ‘chief’ of the Black Widow (BW), Maurong Dimasa (35), was shot at and injured by unidentified assailants in a Dimasa-dominated village under Haflong Police Station in North Cachar Hill District on October 18, reports Telegraph. Dimasa and two of his colleagues were attacked by unidentified assailants at Topodisa, 3 kilometres from Haflong town. The assailants managed to escape.

2) ULFA talks Linky

The process for holding formal talks with Ulfa is yet to reach a stage where a timeframe could be set, notwithstanding Dispur’s assertion that the parleys would begin soon. Sources privy to the discussions being held between P.C. Haldar, the Centre’s interlocutor for talks, and the outfit’s leadership, said there were several issues which were yet to be sorted out before formal talks could begin. Right now the “talks” are only in the media although the process appeared to be moving in the right direction, the sources claimed. “We cannot contradict what chief minister Tarun Gogoi has said about talks starting in December but neither can we say with any conviction that it would,” a source said. “There are certain issues which need sorting out...with some luck talks might start soon,” he said.

According to the sources, the Centre was keen that the talks get off the ground at an early date so that the code of conduct for next year’s Assembly election does not come as a roadblock. “The urgency has been conveyed to Ulfa leaders,” the source said. It has also been pointed out to them that things may change after the elections.

The source, however, pointed out that Ulfa would have to come out with a statement/letter stating their intention to hold talks before formal parleys can begin. “They (Ulfa leaders) are saying a lot of things, but they have to make it categorical,” he said, adding that efforts were on to get such an announcement out before/during the next Parliament session that begins early next month. According to him, the draft of such an announcement was under preparation. “One was prepared, but that is being reworked,” the source said. He said the Centre was also keen to have a statement given out by operational commanders that they, too, were in favour of holding talks and not the civil wing of the outfit alone.

According to the source, Ulfa leaders were insisting that general secretary Anup Chetia, who is now in prison in Bangladesh, be brought for a discussion among themselves. The Centre has conveyed to them that a diplomatic demand for handing over Chetia has been made on Bangladesh. At the same time, though, it has also been conveyed to the leaders that even if he were to come to India, Chetia would certainly have to spend some time in jail which would further delay the outfit’s central committee meeting. The jailed leaders have been saying that the meeting could be held only after all were released from jail. “It was keeping in mind such issues that the Centre had offered to shift the jailed leaders to special jails so they could freely discuss matters among themselves, but the leadership had not agreed to it,” the source said. Haldar today met Ulfa leaders in the Central Jail here.

Bail issue: Linky

Two separate courts today rejected the bail plea of Ulfa deputy commander-in-chief Raju Barua alias Jiten Kalita while the same courts granted bail to the outfit’s cultural secretary, Pranati Deka. The bail pleas of both the jailed senior leaders of the outfit came up for hearing today in the court of the chief judicial magistrate (CJM), Kamrup, and at the designated Tada court. There were three cases pending against Barua in the TADA court — 32/01, 43/01 and 350/91. The court has rejected his bail plea in all the three cases. The Tada court, however, granted bail to Pranati Deka against a bail bond of Rs 1 lakh.

On the other hand, the CJM court here granted bail to Deka but rejected the bail plea of Barua as he was shown as an absconder while the special operation unit (SOU) of the Assam police chargesheeted him in case number 3974/95. “This is an initial stage of moving the bail petition and the Tada court has rejected the bail plea of Barua at this stage,” Barua’s counsel Pranab Das said. “On the other hand, the CJM court rejected Barua’s bail as he was shown as absconder in the chargesheet filed by the SOU of the Assam Police. Since the Tada court has not given any specific reason for rejecting the bail, we are going to move fresh bail petition after a few days,” he said. Last week, senior Ulfa leader and the outfit’s ideologue, Bhimkanta Buragohain, was granted bail by the district and session judge at Tezpur. Buragohain, who was granted bail against two bail bonds of Rs 25,000 each, is likely to secure his release on October 26 when his relatives submit the bail bonds.

Sentinel adds this: Linky

Before the first round of talks with the outfit, the government is likely to release ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, foreign secretary Sasha Choudhury and deputy ‘commander-in-chief’ Raju Baruah from jail. It will have to also decide whether operations against the ULFA will continue while holding talks with the outfit, the sources said. Haldar, who arrived in the city on Wednesday, today discussed with top jailed ULFA leaders the legal hurdles to setting them free and modalities of the proposed peace talks.
Intelligence sources, on the other hand, today claimed that they had “located” Paresh Baruah. Quoting NSCN (I-M) leader Anthony Shimray, who was arrested recently, they said, “Now Paresh Baruah is in the Yunnan province of China.” According to the sources, Shimray said during interrogation that Baruah was in the Philippines till last year, and that the top ULFA leader was involved in illegal arms trade. Meanwhile, the rift between the pro-talk ULFA camp and the Paresh Baruah-led group seems to have widened in recent times. While the jailed ULFA leaders, if their statements are any indication, are willing to hold talks with the government, Paresh Baruah has not budged from his stand that any peace talks must include the issue of “sovereignty”.

3) ANVC ceasefire Linky

In a bid to prevent cadres from deserting the Achik National Volunteers’ Council, the joint monitoring group that monitors the ceasefire agreement between the government and the outfit today decided to implement the standard operation procedure, which will facilitate the introduction of database identity card. The decision is significant especially when some ANVC cadres had, in the past, fled from their respective designated camps in Garo hills to join other outfits.
The Union government had earlier expressed concern over the ANVC cadres deserting their camps and joining other militant groups like the Liberation of Achik Elite Force and the Garo National Liberation Army. Former ANVC leader Sohan D. Shira, who had surrendered in 2007 and stayed in designated camps, is now the self-styled commander-in-chief of the GNLA, led by former deputy superintendent of police, Champion R. Sangma.

4) UNLF Linky

Political parties today threw their weight behind Sana Yaima’s family and supported the demand that the Centre inform them about the UNLF leader’s whereabouts. “We believe Sana Yaima is in the custody of the Indian authorities. The government of India should inform the people of Manipur and Sana Yaima’s family the whereabouts of the militant leader and what had happened to him,” Nimai Chand Luwang, the president of the Manipur Peoples’ Party (MPP), the largest Opposition party in the Assembly, said today.
Before leaving Imphal for Delhi, home secretary G.K. Pillai today repeated that New Delhi did not have any information about his arrest. “I would contact my counterparts in Bangladesh to find out if the man has been arrested,” the home secretary told reporters at the airport. Pillai, who was here on a four-day visit to attend two development seminars in Imphal East and Ukhrul, had denied any knowledge of Yaima’s arrest. He termed media reports of Yaima’s arrest in Bangladesh and now in India “not correct”.

The Ibobi Singh government has so far been maintaining silence over the issue. Following reports in the media and claim by UNLF’s vice-chairman Kh. Pambei that Sana Yaima, alias R.K. Meghen, was arrested from Dhaka on September 29 and brought to India, Yaima’s wife R.K. Ongbi Ibemnungshi had petitioned the Union home ministry, National Human Rights Commission and the UN High Commission for Human Rights seeking information on the whereabouts of her husband. After petitions to the home secretary and national rights commission drew a blank, R.K. Chinglen, the second son of the militant leader, told the media yesterday that if the Centre failed to inform the family about the whereabouts of his father, the family would seek legal course. Yaima has not been home at Yaiskul Janmasthan in Imphal city for the past 35 years or so. His father, R.K. Madhuryyajit, was a British army officer and was World War II veteran. He also founded SSB in Manipur and Nagaland after retirement.

5) KMSS and dams Linky

The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) today set a seven-day deadline for the Tarun Gogoi government to ensure a halt to the construction of big dams affecting the state or face a mass movement akin to the Assam Agitation from November 1. The organisation, which has been opposing the construction of large dams in the region, did not spare Arunachal Pradesh either. It threatened to launch an economic blockade against the neighbouring state if it did not give up its pro-dam policy. KMSS general secretary Akhil Gogoi this evening came up with a point-by-point counter to the letter written by Arunachal chief minister Dorjee Khandu to the PMO on the “strategic and national need” for the dams. Khandu’s lobbying, Gogoi said, led to the postponement of the PMO-convened inter-ministerial meeting on the construction of big dams in the region.

Sentinel adds: Linky

Rejecting the allegation made by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) that a pro-mega dam lobby is active in New Delhi, State Power and Industries Minister Pradyut Bordoloi has said that the State Government has urged the Centre to look into the concerns raised by the public and the expert committee on the possible downstream effects of the mega dams under construction. Bordoloi today said that the State Government was giving due importance to the opinion of the expert committee on the issue of mega dams, and not to what organizations like the KMSS and AASU were saying. Ruling out the possibility of any pro-dam lobby active in New Delhi, the minister said that the State Government would never take any step that would be detrimental to the interests of the State. Bordoloi accused the AGP of maintaining “double standard”. “Earlier the AGP used to support the construction of dams, but now they have started opposing it. This is nothing but double standard. The reality is that the AGP is just trying to make it a political issue,” Bora said.

Tribune adds: Linky

The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and the Takam Mising Porin Kebang (TMPK) will jointly hold an interactive meet of the members of the expert group that studied the Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power Project (LSHEP) and the common people on the mega dam issue at Gerukamukh on October 24. The expert group had submitted its report on June 28 last to the State Government and the NHPC authorities. The expert group was constituted with the experts from Gauhati University, Dibrugarh University and IIT Guwahati, following a decision at a tripartite meeting held by the State Government with the representatives of the NHPC and the AASU on December 8, 2006. In its final report, the group suggested that the construction activities of the LSHEP should be brought to an end. It has also forbidden construction of any mega dam in the seismically sensitive foothill areas of the Himalayas.

6) AIUDF and elections Linky

All India United Democratic Front chief Badruddin Ajmal, who is on a three-day tour of the three Barak valley districts, today more than indicated that the party’s main agenda was to join the government after the Assembly elections next year. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a party workers’ meet held at Gandhi Bhawan in Silchar, Ajmal said, “You cannot push for change unless you have power in your hands.” While revealing that the AIUDF was open to supporting the government that would be formed after the elections, Ajmal threw enough hints that the party would extend support to any formation.

The AIUDF has, at least for now, decided to contest the polls on its own steam. “We will contest the elections alone. We are open to all non-Congress and non-BJP secular parties,” Ajmal said. He, however, contradicted himself by revealing a “soft corner” for the Congress when asked if he would join a Congress-led government. “It’s a question of ideological difference — the Congress has failed to deliver the roads and drains here. This is a testimony that the long Congress rule has given the people nothing. Apart from ideological differences, we have no issues with Gogoi sahib or the Congress. Having said that, we cannot do anything unless we have power in our hands and so the party looks forward to joining the government formed after election,” he said.

With the AGP having severed ties with the BJP, Ajmal said an alliance with the AGP could not be ruled out. “(Prafulla Kumar) Mahanta had called me a few days back and asked ‘We need to sit and talk.’ We are open to any non-Congress, non-BJP secular alliance.” Earlier in the day, the AIUDF got a boost after nearly 500 BJP and Congress members joining the party at a daylong workshop of the party’s Cachar district unit, the Mahila Morcha and the Yuba Morcha. Ajmal encouraged them to work with confidence and dedication to make an impact in the process of the formation of the next government. The party general secretary, K.M. Baharul Islam, said the Assembly polls would be “the voice of the oppressed, suppressed and the downtrodden.” Islam said his party was committed to the empowerment of not only the marginalised religious minorities but also of the linguistic minorities and tribes that have been sidelined by the Congress.

Sentinel adds: Linky

But the final blow came on Thursday when ‘Aamir-e-Shariyat’ of Northeast Nadwatut Tamir Moulana Tayeebur Rahman outrightly rejected Ajmal’s plea to reconsider his decision to scrap ties with the AIUDF. The Moulana in his usual modest tone asked the AIUDF boss not to make any statement involving the Nadwa or blaming the Congress for the Nadwa’s decision to scrap ties with Ajmal’s party. Ajmal who dropped into the Moulana’s Rangauti residence in Hailakandi on Thursday noon and in their 45 minutes reconsider his decision. But no was the final answer from the cleric who had considerable influence on the Muslims in a greater part of the valley. Coming out of the Moulana’s residence, Ajmal tried to pose a brave gesture and even claimed that the meeting was fruitful. But the insiders said the opposite.

Moulana Tayeebur Rahman was the chief advisor of the AIUDF when the party came into being in 2005 following the scrapping of IMDT in the Supreme Court. The Moulana’s campaigning yielded three seats for the AIUDF in Barak Valley. But the relation started to sour when Ajmal decided to contest the Lok Sabha election from Silchar without even caring for discussing his decision with the Moulana who was opposed to Ajmal’s candidature in Silchar apprehending that this would ultimately pave the way for the BJP. The Moulana started to withdraw his physical presence in the AIUDF meeting or rally. The final jolt to their relation came when one Jamiat central leader claimed that Mufti Khainul Islam of the Jamiat was the original Amir-e-Shariyat. That had angered the Nadwa camp and they took it as an insult to the Moulana. Ajmal was the state president of the Jamiat, but preferred to remain as a mute spectator.

Subsequently, the Majlis-e-Shura, the governing body of the Nadwa had recently decided not to side with any political party from now onwards. On the other hand, the Moulana announced his detachment with active politics. Ajmal on Wednesday claimed that there was no hitch in AIUDF’s relation with the Nadwa and all the controversy over Aamir-e-Shariyat was a conspiracy of the Congress. The Moulana today reportedly asked Ajmal not to make any statement blaming the Congress that would unnecessary complicate the issue. The Moulana further said, the Nadwa members could support any political party of their choice expect BJP.

7) NDFB Linky

In a bid to consolidate its position in Assam’s north bank districts of Dhemaji and Lakhimpur, the anti-talks faction of the NDFB has tied up with the little-known Liberation Democratic Council of Mising Land (LDCML). The outfit has even started providing arms training to its cadres in makeshift camps in the hills along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border. The development has set alarm bells ringing among security establishments at a time the state is preparing for Assembly elections. Security forces have obtained evidence of cadres of NDFB and LDCML operating jointly in Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Majuli subdivision in Jorhat district where the Mising community has a sizeable population. “Both organisations have started extorting money from businessmen, contractors and even panchayat representatives in various parts of Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Majuli. We have evidence that the NDFB has on occasion used LDCML cadres to carry out operations,” a police official said.

Security forces and intelligence agencies came to know about the pact between the two outfits after the October 3 encounter along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border in which four NDFB militants were killed. A sheaf of documents, which included a diary, recovered from the site by Dhemaji police later revealed that the two organisations operate closely in the area, as well as their training process, modus operandi, cadre profile and the like. “From the documents recovered, it can be stated that LDCML was formed in October last year with an eye on a ‘free Mising land.’ A month later, Ram Patir, the self-styled commander-in-chief of LDCML, sent the first batch of 12 youths from different parts of Dhemaji district, mainly Gogamukh, for training in an NDFB camp on the Assam-Arunachal border in Sonitpur district,” the official said. “We managed to gather from the documents that a recently surrendered NDFB cadre, Jafunsar Boro, who was also present in the October 3 encounter, said that there were seven NDFB cadres in the camp at the time, along with two LDCML members,” he added. According to available information, there may be 30 to 35 cadres under the leadership of Patir, who hails from Misamora village under Jonai police station in Dhemaji district.

NDFB-Rajbongsi sitting: The NDFB (Progressive) and Koch Rajbongsi United Forum today held a joint session at Amala Bhawan in Kokrajhar, adds our correspondent. While the NDFB seeks the support of the Koch Rajbongsi organisations on the separate Bodoland state demand, the Koch Rajbongsis want the NDFB (P) to support them in the community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status. They also discussed peaceful co-existence. The meeting was attended by Govindo Basumatary, NDFB general secretary, speaker B. Benga, publicity secretary S. Sanjarang, AKRSU president Biswajit Ray, Niren Ray and Kesab Rajbongsi of Koch Rajbongsi United Forum, among others.

8) Tangkhul Nagas in Manipur Linky

Tangkhul civil society organisations today submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh through Union home secretary G.K. Pillai to remind the Centre about the Manipur Nagas’ demand for an alternative administrative arrangement for them. “We support and reaffirm the Naga Peoples Convention’s declaration made on July 1, 2010, seeking an alternative arrangement from the government of India in consultation with the Naga people at the earliest possible time,” the memorandum said. Singh was also urged to expedite the process for an alternative arrangement for the Nagas of Manipur.
Before the meeting, the people of Ukhrul took out a rally in the town in support of the demand for an alternative arrangement. “Pillai should have visited Ukhrul to discuss about the Nagas’ demand for an alternative arrangement rather than attending a development seminar,” S. Milan, spokesman for the United Naga Council (UNC), the apex body of the Nagas in Manipur, said. Spearheaded by the council, the Naga organisations in Manipur had raised the demand for an alternative administrative arrangement after the Okram Ibobi Singh government conducted elections to six autonomous district councils in five hill districts and prevented NSCN (I-M) general secretary Th. Muivah from entering Manipur in May this year. Efforts by Ibobi Singh to hold talks with the council leaders have not borne fruit. A delegation of the council met representative of Manipur government Rakesh Ranjan, resident commissioner, Delhi, during tripartite talks on their demand in Delhi on September 21.

9) maoists: Linky

Chief minister Arjun Munda today sought waiving of Rs 500 crore the state owes the Centre towards deployment of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Jharkhand for anti-Naxalite operations since 2007. Munda, who met Union home minister P. Chidambaram in New Delhi today, said the state should not be charged for CRPF deployment as the Naxalite issue was a national one.
Munda, who met the home minister for the first time today after assuming charge as chief minister, also urged the Centre to reimburse the Rs 105 crore it had to pay the Railway Board towards Government Railway Police (GRP) expenditure. This cost is shared by the state and railways on a 50:50 basis. Maintaining that he was committed to eliminating Naxalites, the chief minister also sought a one-time grant of Rs 300 crore for strengthening the Special Task Force on the lines of the Grey Hounds in Andhra Pradesh. “The critical component of training, both basic and specialised, need to be addressed urgently,” he said. Munda added that the home minister was positive and assured all central assistance.

Munda also requested the home minister to allow construction of PCC roads in forest areas as a special dispensation for rebel strongholds. “Improvised explosive devices planted on kuccha roads have been a major cause of casualties,” he said. The chief minister’s wish list included the demand for sanctioning 257 companies of central paramilitary forces for the panchayat elections, being held in the state after a gap of 33 years. “The state has requisitioned 257 companies, but only 100 have been sanctioned. In view of the number of booths, all in rural and Naxalite-affected areas, 100 companies of CRPF are inadequate,” the chief minister maintained.

He wanted two helicopters to be made available to the state as soon as possible in view of the panchayat elections and anti-Naxalite operations. He also sought inclusion of six more districts of Santhal Pargana — Dumka, Deoghar, Sahebganj, Godda, Jamtara and Pakur — in the security related expenditure scheme because of the presence of Maoist groups in these districts. Chidambaram was requested to urge the telecommunication ministry to link 840 villages, not covered with mobile connectivity, in view of the panchayat elections.

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